THE defence team of a 17-year-old who stabbed another teenager attempted to stop his name being published, despite failing to apply for an order required to ensure the offender's anonymity in court "assuming" it had already been done.

Callum Chesterfield was sentenced yesterday to three-and-a-half years in prison after stabbing his victim in the back, while drunk and high on cocaine, at a Travelodge in River Street.

Chesterfield, of Sedgewick Close, Westhoughton, committed the potentially fatal attack "a little less than three weeks after his 17th birthday", said Judge Walsh at Bolton Crown Court.

The case was heard in court earlier this week and a report of the details published in yesterday's edition of The Bolton News.

Chesterfield was named in the first report and, after Chesterfield's sentencing yesterday, defending barrister John Kennerley attempted to stop his name being published further.

Judge Martin Walsh reminded the barrister that the defence must apply for anonymity of defendants under 18 before their case is heard at an adult crown court. The application would be approved by the judge and an order to stop a defendant's name from being published would be given.

In Chesterfield's case, no application was made at any stage.

Mr Kennerley said he began working on the case after it appeared in court in April and "assumed" there was already order in place to stop Chesterfield's name from being reported. He admitted he later realised that no order had ever sought.

Mr Kennerley argued that a restriction should be given by the judge, despite the case having appeared in court a number of times since April without any anonymity order.

The defence said that Chesterfield's name should be removed from any reports by The Bolton News and not published again to attempt "damage limitation".

The judge said the defence's pleas were too late, as copies were already on shelves being sold and the story was already on the internet.

He said: "The Bolton News has done nothing wrongful.

"You should have put in an application."

He added: "The cat is out of the bag now."

Colin Buckle, prosecuting, agreed saying: "We are trying to close the door after the horse has bolted."

Judge Walsh said that if the defence had made an application to stop Chesterfield's name from being published before the case went to court, it would have likely been successful.

Victim Robert Ricketts, 18, was left with post-traumatic stress disorder after Chesterfield stabbed him in the back in March.

Chesterfield was arrested by police in a hotel stairwell a short time later.

The pair had been helping Chesterfield’s ex-girlfriend, Ellie Getliffe, back to the River Street Travelodge when the situation turned violent.

Mr Ricketts insisted he would care for the girl but at one point Chesterfield held a lock-knife to his face and slashed his forehead with it.

The prosecution said Mr Ricketts decided to leave but as he was nearing the door, he realised he had been stabbed in the back. He staggered to reception and the police were alerted.

One surgeon, who saw the 10cm wound to his back, which led to three-and-a-half litres of blood being lost, said: “If treatment had not been given at the right time, the stab wound could have proved to be lethal."

Had Chesterfield been over 18, the judge said he would have been sentenced to at least eight years in prison.

He was sentenced for inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent and possession of a bladed article in a public place